Downpatrick Racecourse

24 Ballydugan Rd, Downpatrick, BT30 6TE - Map & Directions
02844 612 054

Downpatrick racecourse is situated in the beautiful countryside of County Down and is largely considered to be one of the most picturesque and aesthetically pleasing racecourses in the whole of Ireland. Although Northern Ireland is officially part of the United Kingdom, racing is run on an ‘All-Ireland’ basis so Downpatrick, along with the other course in Northern Ireland, Down Royal, is part of Horse Racing Ireland. With the first race meeting held way back in 1685, Downpatrick is the oldest venue for horse racing in Ireland, with race meetings being held there consistently for well over 300 years. Downpatrick is a very popular course, due to its friendly atmosphere and gorgeous surroundings, and it is often included in winter campaigns for eventual winners in the Grand National, as well as various races throughout the Cheltenham Festival.

The racecourse itself is located just one mile form the town of Downpatrick in County Down. Those intending to drive to the course are encouraged to take the A2 to Bangor and follow the signs leading to Downpatrick, where there are clear and regular directions to the racecourse. The closest train station to Downpatrick racecourse is Lisburn, which is one of the stops on the Belfast to Dublin Express. Although the racecourse is within walking distance of the railway station, a taxi rank is available directly outside for those who require it.

Ticket Prices

Entry to the racecourse is universally priced for all areas, with entry prices starting at just £10 for adults, although this may be increased for more popular events. The starting price for students and OAPs is just £5, although some proof of age/eligibility may be needed. Customers under the age of 18 are allowed entry to the track free of charge when accompanied by a full paying adult, and again some proof of age may be requested upon entry.

The Course

Downpatrick Racecourse
Downpatrick Racecourse (Eric Jones /

Downpatrick hosts both flat and National Hunt races, with both being run right-handed on a tight track measuring 1m3f in circumference. The course features four separate straights, with the home straight very short and measuring just 1f. The course features severe undulations with even sections very rare and this, in conjunction with the tightness of the track makes it a stiff test.

The National Hunt course features five hurdles, spread out over all straights besides the home straight. The hurdles course consists of seven hurdles, again with no obstacles on the home straight prior to the winning post.

Major Meetings at Downpatrick

Downpatrick hosts ten fixtures annually, with the most prestigious being the Powers Whisky Ulster National, which is run each February over three and a half miles.

Dining and Hospitality

In terms of private hospitality, the state of the art facilities at Downpatrick are available to add a little bit more sophistication to a day at the races. Corporate hospitality boxes are available for between 10 and 20 people, with prices starting from just £40 per person. Food is not included in the deal, however an additional hospitality package is available on top of this price for £36 per head, with additional bonuses including a race card, food and evening entertainment.


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